Osteoarthritis Patients Report Sustained Benefits From Cannabis


London, United Kingdom: Patients diagnosed with osteoarthritis report pain-specific improvements following their use of medical cannabis preparations, according to observational data published in the Journal of Pain & Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy.


British researchers assessed the use of cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) consisting of either flower or oil extracts in a cohort of osteoarthritis patients enrolled in the UK Medical Cannabis Registry. (Since 2018, British specialists have been permitted to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products to patients unresponsive to conventional medications.) Researchers assessed changes in patient-reported outcomes measures over one year.


Patients reported symptom improvements at one month, three months, six months, and one year.


“Commencement of CBMP treatment was associated with reductions in pain-specific PROMs [patient-reported outcome measures] at all time points in patients with osteoarthritis,” researchers reported. Patients also reported improved sleep. Contrary to the results of several other studies, patients prescribed opioids did not decrease their opioid intake following their initiation of medical cannabis.


Investigators documented few serious side-effects associated with cannabis. “AEs [adverse events] were mainly mild or moderate in severity,” they wrote. “Fatigue was the most common AE in this study.” 


The study’s authors concluded: “These results suggest an improvement in pain-related outcomes for patients with osteoarthritis following the initiation of CBMP treatment. Furthermore, there was an improvement in general HRQoL [health-related quality of life] metrics across the follow-up period. CBMPs also appeared to be well-tolerated at 12-month follow-up. … Hence, this study supports the development of RCTs [randomized clinical trials] for CBMP use in osteoarthritis.”


Other studies assessing the use of cannabis products in patients enrolled in the UK Cannabis Registry have reported them to be effective for those suffering from chronic pain, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, depression, migraine, inflammatory bowel disease, and other afflictions.


Read More: NORML 

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